Sarkaria Commission: Background, Recommendations, Significances

Various committees and commissions are important for the UPSC IAS exam, which includes pre-independence commissions like the Hunter Commission, Simon Commission, and others. Turning back to the topic, post-independence commissions hold an important part in the development of our country and therefore are an important part of the UPSC Syllabus for Indian polity and governance. One of the most important post-independence commissions is the Sarkaria Commission, which has given important recommendations for center-state relations.

On that note, let’s learn all about the Sarkaria Commission and its recommendations for the UPSC exam.

Sarkaria Commission – Background

  • There has always been a conflict of interest between the federal government and the states.
  • The democratic machinery is severely disrupted as a result of this.
  • The nation has experienced a number of social, economic, and political developments over time, along with new conflicts and problems.
  • The smooth operation of the Center and the States depends on consensus and cooperation.
  • In this regard, the Parliament suggested creating a commission in 1983, with retired Supreme Court justice R.S. Sarkaria serving as its chairman.
  • In accordance with a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the commission was established in June 1983.
  • The commission’s members were Shri B. Sivaraman and Dr. S. R. Sen.
  • The panel was tasked with examining and evaluating the effectiveness of current agreements between the Union and States regarding authorities, duties, and obligations in all domains and making recommendations for changes to improve coordination between the center and states.

Sarkaria Commission Recommendations

Let’s go through the key recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission.

  • The Commission advocated for the selection of people with extensive public service experience and a nonpartisan outlook.
  • The states must have the authority to oversee the growth of the populace and the successful execution of welfare programs.
  • It endorsed cooperative federalism and made the comment that federalism is more of a practical setup for cooperative action than a fixed institutional conception.
  • The state governments need to have enough financial resources to be less reliant on the federal government.
  • To settle any issue that causes conflict between the states, a permanent Inter-State council must be established.
  • It advised giving All-India Services more power.
  • While the President vetoes state bills, the states must be informed about those concerns.
  • When it is necessary to deploy the armed forces in the states, the commission pushes for a collaborative procedure between the Center and the states.
  • It also suggested that the Parliament should continue to have the remaining authority to enact laws pertaining to taxation. The residual field must be categorized under the concurrent list, aside from tax-related issues.
  • The report states that the President’s rule under Article 356 may only be implemented in dire situations as a last resort and when it is absolutely necessary to prevent the state’s constitutional machinery from collapsing.

The Emerging Significance of the  Commission

  • Due to the political instabilities that are prevalent within the states, the Sarkaria Commission frequently comes to light anytime the office of the governor is questioned.
  • The Supreme Court has frequently upheld the Commission’s recommendations and emphasized their urgent necessity in order to reestablish unity between the Center and State.
  • The legitimacy of the office of the governor has been questioned in light of the recent unrest in the states of Maharashtra (which saw the unusual dissolution of its government), West Bengal, and Karnataka.
  • According to several experts, the country urgently needs to implement the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations in order to improve the governor’s office.
  • The Sarkaria Commission report has established itself as a forward-looking document that can be used in numerous situations where an attempt was made to undermine the federalism of the nation.
  • To avoid the central government’s haughtiness regarding the federalism doctrine, the report of this commission is therefore frequently spelled out. It continues to be a document of crucial importance for defending this nation’s democratic ideals and is currently awaiting effective implementation.



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